It's time for another addition to the Tier List Change Log. While the explanations on their placements were available for the Shinjuku Servants on the Tier List itself, we delayed the change log associated with Shinjuku until the Community Forum was live. With Arthur coming out and Break Bars making their introduction, there are 2 more Servants we'll discuss.
From now on, each Change Log will have an associated Forum thread in which you can leave your feedback and thoughts on the tier list, in addition to discussing the newly placed Servants of course.
4 Star Tier List Changes
Moved to Tier 4:
Li Shuwen’s moniker – “No Second Strike” – is taken rather literally in terms of his gameplay. He is quite similar to Scathach in terms of playstyle, as most of his buffs have high values, but only last for a single turn. Essentially he funnels most of his damage into that single turn for every cooldown cycle. Despite being an Arts Servant, Li Shuwen's NP generation is also nothing to write home about, which impedes his NP spamming potential and his sustained damage output. These issues become more apparent against bosses with a Break Bar.
In the meantime, many Buster-centric Lancers have become noticeably better and easier to utilize with the arrival of Merlin, further devaluing the martial arts master. Thus, a demotion to Tier 4 is a good indication of this new change in dynamic in regards to Li Shuwen.
Placed into Tier 4:
As the first Avenger that is available in the common pool, Avenger of Shinjuku does hold some value as a more accessible counter to Ruler class enemies. Nonetheless, Avenger of Shinjuku’s poor sustained damage, low survivability and poor class compatibility make him a lot less desirable than he should be, particularly with Break Bars being implemented.
He is still a decent Servant thanks to good neutral damage and buff removal, but as the game moves toward more specialization, Avenger of Shinjuku will struggle to find opportunities where he can shine over his competitors. Hence, we decided to put him into Tier 4.
Placed into Tier 5:
It is hard to pinpoint Assassin of Shinjuku’s edge over his competitors. Whether it is Star Generation, damage output, or survivability, Assassin of Shinjuku seems to fall short compared to most popular Assassins. In fact, he does not compare well even against middle of the pack Servants, to the point where it requires extensive support to make him viable as a supporting Assassin or to make him deal meaningful damage.
As a result, Assassin of Shinjuku is placed at Tier 5, biding his time to shine in the future after his Rank Up.
Placed into Tier 2:
Despite his low Attack compared to other Archers, EMIYA (Alter) more than makes up for it with powerful NP spam potential and multiple strong steroids, allowing him to put out exceptional amount of damage nonetheless. In that sense, he resembles Artoria (Archer) – one of the masters of NP spamming. That being said, EMIYA does not edge out the current premium 4 star Archer – Chloe von Einzbern, due to her easy access to NP5 status and more diverse damage potential compared to her brother. EMIYA’s utility is also somewhat limited, with Masters having to play around a medium success chance NP drain.
All in all, we find that EMIYA stands above most Archers in the game, but just a few steps behind the highest tier. Thus, we reached the consensus to place him into Tier 2.
5 Star Tier List Changes
Placed into Tier 5:
The highly anticipated King of Knights, unfortunately, suffers from a lackluster skill set in a role spoiled for choice. He bears a striking similarity to Altria Pendragon in terms of gameplay, sporting much better offensive stats, an NP battery skill on a good cooldown and a rare niche against Giant enemies. However, in return he possesses a much less potent Noble Phantasm and little team support capacity.
As Giant enemies come up occasionally in events and NP batteries are a highly useful perk for any form of farming on a budget, we decided that Arthur offers just the right amount of value for a tentative Tier 5 placement. However, Arthur bounced around between Tier 6 and Tier 5 during the discussion and the final decision was not unanimous.
Remains in Tier 3:
The introduction of the Break Bar is one of the more influential changes in terms of Challenge Quest mechanics so far, and it is most definitely not kind to Scathach. Her burst damage potential is unchanged, but due to her relatively poor sustained damage and inconsistent generation stats, her overall usefulness in Challenge Quest takes a bit of a beating when compared to Servants who can spread out their damage or build up their burst faster.
These are all innate problems that Scathach had before, whether it is her inconsistent NP and Star Generation, RNG-reliant first skill, or the short duration on her two main steroids. However, as bosses could be taken out in one hit, these flaws were not as much of a problem until now.
And yet, Masters can elect to spread out her damage over multiple turn, rotating her NP turn and her anti-trait damage. Her stun also remains extremely powerful and consistent, especially on the back of a shorter-than-usual Evasion on a 5-turn cooldown. The coming year also contains its fair share of reruns without Break Bars and Divine opponents where her niche remains highly useful. Besides, her NP damage remains unmatched.
Still, Scathach is weaker at dealing with Break Bars, but not so much worse that she moves down in tier placement. We decided to keep her in Tier 3 for now, although the decision was a divided one.
Placed into Tier 5:
Archer of Shinjuku draws many similarities to Arjuna, partly due to his deck, NP card type, and skill set, but with a single target Noble Phantasm. Compared to his fellow 5 Stars Archers with single target Noble Phantasms, this dandy old man has better raw NP damage, barring the exception of Orion with Anti-Male bonus. However, the potential of his peers is often higher due to a more synergistic deck and skill set. His durability is also worse due to the lack of any hard survivability skills. Still, he brings a wide variety of useful tools that make him versatile in most general teams, yet not great at any dedicated setups such as Buster-centric or Critical-centric team compositions.
Overall, we feel that Archer of Shinjuku does not offer anything unique enough compared to his competitors, whose niches are more effective and can be executed more easily. As a result, he gets a Tier 5 placement.